Is there such a thing as objectification in Buddhism? Namely, objectification here means treating someone else as an object, or for their appearance. However, it means also many other things, so I'll just leave the question open. Hence:

What does Buddhism say about objectification?

2 Answers 2


Thanissaro Bhikkhu equates papanca with objectification:




  • I wonder if I could private message you @Andrei Volkov, those texts struck a chord in a really deep way in me.
    – Eggman
    Nov 27, 2019 at 11:53
  • sure; added email to my profile info
    – Andriy Volkov
    Nov 27, 2019 at 13:04

"Jati" is objectification. The mind "produces" ("abhinibbatti") the notion of "beings" ("sattānaṃ") based on the "appearance/manifestation" ("pātubhāvo") of various "aggregates" ("khandhānaṃ") and their pre-occupation (paṭilābho) with sense spheres (āyatanānaṃ).

For example, some aggregates manifest a buxom 38-24-36 hour-glass figure and these aggregates are pre-occupied with looking in mirrors, putting make-up on their faces & getting men to give attention to them. As a result of this appearance of aggregates & pre-occupation with sense spheres, your ignorant mind sexually objectifies deluded aggregates as "sexy women".

  • Ironically I feel objectified by this answer - it suggests that women with hour-glass figures are always pre-occupied with looking in mirrors, putting on make-up and getting men to give attention to them. Nov 27, 2019 at 9:46
  • I did not say "women" with hour glass figures. I said "aggregates" with hour glass figures. It follows your mind might be engaging in self-objectification. Regards Nov 27, 2019 at 11:05
  • You linked to images of women. Anyhow, my point is that you suggest that anybody (that is: any aggregage) with an hourglass figure is obsessed with their looks. Nov 27, 2019 at 13:24
  • @KatinkaHesselink Actually he says 'some' not all for the purposes of his example. Some aggregates have six-packs and beards and behave the same way.
    – user14119
    Nov 27, 2019 at 13:39
  • This is about grammar I guess. He says some aggregates have a buxom figure and they (which suggests all such aggregates) are pre-occupied etc. Nov 27, 2019 at 14:33

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